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Sexual health

In 2016 there were 852 new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) diagnosed in Herefordshire, corresponding to a rate of 453 per 100,000 population which ranked 141st highest out of 150 local authorities and was significantly lower than the national rate.

The detection rate for chlamydia in 15 to 24 year olds in Herefordshire was 1,269 per 100,000, significantly lower than the national rate and regional rate.

The genital warts diagnostic rate in Herefordshire has fallen since 2012 and the 2016 rate of 88.3 per 100,000 was significantly lower than the national rate.

The genital herpes diagnostic rate in Herefordshire was 47.9 per 100,000 in 2016, lower than nationally and regionally but not significantly so - Herefordshire was ranked 104th highest out of 150 local authorities.

Since 2009 the local gonorrhoea diagnostic rate has shown some variability and in 2016 was 18.1 per 100,000 a figure significantly lower than that for England and the West Midlands region, and was ranked 140th highest out of 150 local authorities.

Incidence of syphilis is on the increase nationally but the local diagnostic rate for syphilis has varied considerably between 2009 and 2016. The current rate of 4.8 per 100,000 ranks 96th highest out of 150 local authorities and was significantly lower than the national rate.

Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer

The HPV vaccine protects against the two high-risk HPV types – 16 and 18 – that cause over 70% of cervical cancers.  In September 2014, the routine Human Papilloma Vaccine (HPV) programme was changed from a three to two-dose schedule. Between 2014/15 and 2015/16 the coverage of the initial dose of the HPV vaccine in Herefordshire increased from 81.4 to 83.6%, while for England the coverage decreased over this time, although the national figure in both years was higher than that for Herefordshire. In 2015/16 the coverage for two doses in Herefordshire was 81.4% which was lower than the national rate of 85.1% and the West Midlands region rate of 86.0%.

In 2013-15, the cervical cancer incidence rate in Herefordshire was 4.9 per 100,000; lower than the national rate.  Since 2001-03 the rate has shown some variability but in 2013 - 2015 was at its lowest point in that period.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

For the year 2016/17 there were 65 Pelvic Inflammatory Disease admissions in Herefordshire at a rate of 218.1 per 100,000 population, a figure broadly similar to both those reported nationally and in Herefordshire's comparator group.

HIV

Between 2011 and 2016 the number of diagnosed HIV cases in Herefordshire rose from 56 to 86, which corresponds to an increase in the prevalence rate from 0.55 to 0.84 per 1,000 population.

The local diagnosis rate has consistently been significantly lower than the national rate and regional rate.

In 2016 the local HIV diagnosis rate was ranked 10th highest out of 14 local authorities in the West Midlands.

The most common exposure route to HIV in Herefordshire is via sex between men (58%) with heterosexual contact (37%) also important.

Teenage Pregnancy

  • Fewer teenagers are getting pregnant or having babies in Herefordshire. In 2015, there were 45 under-18 conceptions, representing a rate of 14.3 per thousand, lower than for the West Midlands region (23.7) and England (20.8). 
  • The number of under-18 conceptions in Herefordshire has reduced consistently since 2007-09, with a rate of 23.1 conceptions per 1,000 in 2012-14 for girls aged 15 to 17, broadly similar to the national rate (24.9 per 1,000 in England and Wales).
  • Since 2008-10, the conception rate in Herefordshire in girls aged 13 to 15 has fallen from 6.5 per 1,000 girls to 3.7 per 1,000 girls, which represents a proportional fall of 43.1 per cent following the declining trend both nationally and regionally from 2009 to 2014.

Abortions

  • There were 366 abortions in Herefordshire in 2016, a lower figure than in previous years.
  • The 2016 local abortion rate of 12.2 per 1,000 population was significantly lower than the national and regional rate.    
  • The percentage of repeat abortions in women aged under 25 in 2016 was lower than regionally or nationally.